Anyone who wants to give their garden a little something extra, with both visual and practical benefits, is well advised to look into using an ornamental tree. As well as being a natural and organic presence in any garden, an ornamental tree also has many useful applications, such as providing extra shade, protection against wind and acting as a natural barrier that can separate different garden areas. Which isn’t to say an ornamental tree can’t be beautiful. Indeed there are many visually stunning kinds of tree available that make a pleasing change from the harsher lines of architectural features and garden buildings. They also provide a variety of colour tones in your garden and can make a pleasing frame for a vista, or be stunning focal points in their own right. Here are five different ornamental trees, each have their own characteristics but all make a worthy addition to gardens and outdoor areas.


Golden Alder

This a slow grower that reaches no more than ten metres when fully mature, but which offers a stunning display of colours throughout the year. The broad leaves shimmer in golden yellow during the spring, offset beautifully by bright red catkins that open to a pinkish yellow. Even the bark adds something to the colour display: the trunk and branches turn a gentle orange during winter. The Golden Alder grows particularly well in moist soil in semi-shaded areas.

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Providing a delightful and distinctive aroma as well as visual appeal, the Eucalyptus is a small ornamental tree with a lot of character. Able to reach about four metres tall and two metres wide when fully mature, and with its delicious scent, it makes a pleasing and relaxing addition to patios and decking areas. The Eucalyptus is an evergreen tree with blue/grey leaves and a pale textured bark and tiny white flowers that bloom at the beginning of summer.

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Non-invasive Bamboo

Strictly speaking, bamboo is a type of grass, not a tree, but there can be no doubting its potential as a great ornamental feature in gardens. Many people are wary of adding bamboo to their garden for fear that its infamous robustness and natural urge to spread will damage the rest of the garden. In actual fact, there are a great many non-invasive varieties of bamboo that are as well behaved as they beautiful. Giving you a lovely splash of green all year round, with a delightful hint of Asian elegance, a bamboo plant like Blue Panda, Pingwu or Green Dragon is an excellent means of providing shade, that can also act as a wind break or a natural barrier.

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Sicilian Olive Tree

The Olive tree is a mediterranean mainstay, and is a simple and warming presence in gardens and on patios. This Sicilian variety is particularly beautiful, and has a charming and distinctive spiral stem. Able to grow to just over a metre tall, and with a nice rounded head, the Sicilian Olive tree is a beautiful ornament in any garden.

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Japanese Flowering Cherry Tree

Each year, Japan is transformed by an explosion of pink cherry blossoms, made all the more beautiful for the fleeting nature of their existence. Within a couple of weeks, most of the gentle pink petals have fallen and the cherry blossom viewing picnics known as hanami are put off for another year. Having a Japanese Flowering Cherry tree of your own will bring a much loved and unique natural phenomenon closer to home, and allow you to enjoy hanami parties in the comfort of your own garden.

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